Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Center for Community News gives $1,000 each to faculty, $6,000 to four schools working on local-news partnerships

The Center for Community News at the University of Vermont is funding "faculty champions" at 33 universities and colleges in 21 states who are starting and growing local-news partnerships.

Fifteen of the faculty members work at "minority-serving institutions where student populations are majority non-white," the center said in a news release. Thirty faculty are getting $1,000 each, and four schools are getting $6,000 each; Claflin University, Lane College, Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University and North Carolina Agricultural & Technical University. Total funding is $54,000. The list of champions and programs is here.

“At the core of these local-news partnerships are innovative and creative faculty,” said Richard Watts, director of the center. “This program seeks to recognize them and support their work in connecting and creating more such partnerships.” Watts, who is a senior lecturer in the university's College of Arts and Sciences and the founder of its Community News Service, also said, “This is a time to engage our students and colleges in doing local reporting. Universities have a responsibility to lead and students want to do real things.”

The center is funded by a $200,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and matching funds from the university. Watts said the grants are funded by private donors.

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